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Poems: 'Why the Snow Leopard Bites Its Tail'; 'Do Not Speak Punjabi.'

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Thank you for stopping by! I teach drama, run a drama club, and write because I must.

Why the Snow Leopard Bites Its Tail


High up on the Hindu Kush,

There lived a silly snow puss,

His eyes as violet as Liz Taylor’s,

His coat as plush as the Queen’s,

Yet unhappy because his tail,

Furry, floofy, and long as a rail,

Looked like a bad Photoshop Fail.

Seeing cats like Palmerston and Larry,

He’d say, ‘Ah, what a burden I carry!’

He did not think, ‘It looks like a snake

That I could use to charm markhor

Or as a broom to sweep the floor.’

Instead he thought, ‘It looks as fake

As Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner.

I’m going to bite right through it

Until its size is a perfect fit.’

Humans would look at that cat

Nomming on its tail and wonder,

‘Why does a snow leopard do that?’

Don’t be like that silly hillbilly creature:

Your ‘biggest flaw’ may be your best feature.

Do Not Speak Punjabi

This is an attempt to write a multilingual poem. You can find far better examples in South Asian literature, where rhyming poems sometimes have entire lines in very different languages like Arabic, Persian, and Urdu.

Despite having the largest numbers of speakers of any Pakistani language, Punjabi is not used as a medium of education in my country; its use is generally frowned upon in polite society; even those who use it in daily life, like my parents, switch to Urdu in writing.


© 2020 Anya Ali

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